GroundTruth Blog

GroundTruth: PAN's blog on pesticides, food & health

Margaret Reeves's blog
By Margaret Reeves,

Earlier this week the House Agriculture Committee passed its version of the Farm Bill by a vote of 35-11 after one long day and more than 100 amendments.

Here's the upshot. Conservation programs took a big hit. Genetically engineered (GE) crops were given a free ride. And unfortunate language reversing EPA’s authority to regulate pesticide pollution under the Clean Water Act is included. A vote on the House floor is up next, but it hasn't been scheduled yet. Then it's on to reconciliation with the version passed by the Senate.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

Last month, 14 children between the ages of two and six lost their lives to pesticide poisoning in Bangladesh after eating contaminated litchi (or lychee) fruit.

As reported by the Bangladesh daily New Age, the specific pesticides responsible have not yet been identified. But samples of the poisonous fruit are currently being tested by the Center for Disease Control & Prevention in Atlanta.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

Living in a lush, forested area sounds pristine and serene, right? Yes, but you may have to grapple with pesticide drift from periodic aerial spraying of herbicides like 2,4-D and atrazine.

Residents of Lane County, Oregon are fed up. They recently organized a rally protesting this long-standing practice, and calling for buffer zones to protect their communities.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

A recent, powerful series of articles in Environmental Health News marked the 30th anniversary of what many consider the birth of the environmental justice movement. EHN reporters visited low-income communities of color across the country, and found "a legacy of lingering problems and newly emerging threats."

Pollution, Poverty, People of Color” tells the compelling stories of seven communities that are battling the “triple whammy” of race, poverty and environmental contamination. PAN sees this struggle all too often, as we work with community partners to monitor pesticides in their air and water. All of the EHN stories are worth reading; we share brief summaries of just two of them below.

Marcia Ishii-Eiteman's blog
By Marcia Ishii-Eiteman,

Imagine an invisible cloud of a cancer-causing weedkiller drifting slowly across your state. Well, one just blew 100 miles across California, from Merced County, nestled at the northern tip of the Central Valley, as far south as Kern County (one county stop before Los Angeles) according to farm press.

David Runyon's blog
By David Runyon,



As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day, my thoughts turn to what independence means to me: freedom from corporate interference and control.

I am an Eastern Indiana farmer and have experienced, first hand, the ways corporate giants control food and farming in this country.

Pesticide Action Network's blog
By Pesticide Action Network,

Brazil, the world’s second largest user of genetically engineered (GE) seeds, just took Monsanto down a notch. The court focused on Monsanto’s harassment and exploitation of farmers — potentially causing huge financial losses to the company, and keeping their army of lawyers busy for a while. Meanwhile, we celebrate a rare commonsense legal decision.

Monsanto's RoundUp Ready soy seeds comprise 85% of all soy grown in Brazil, and the corporation has been making a tidy profit charging farmers a levy of 2% on top of the cost of seed. In April, a Brazilian court ruled this levy illegal.

Margaret Reeves's blog
By Margaret Reeves,

In the next couple weeks the House Agriculture Committee will negotiate its version of the 2012 Food and Farm Bill, following last week’s passage of the Senate’s decent version of the bill. In preparation, we took one of the House Ag Committee decision-makers (Fresno's Rep. Jim Costa) on a tour to make real what's at stake in this bill. 

Karl Tupper's blog
By Karl Tupper,

Stories about pesticide residues on food are making the rounds again. After my umpteenth media call, a blog seemed in order.

As I told the LA Times, here's my basic response: "It’s the farmers, farmworkers and residents of rural communities who are really most at risk" from pesticides, not consumers. While these folks are exposed to pesticides from food like the rest of us, they also must contend with pesticide fumes drifting out of fields, exposure from working directly with pesticides, and pesticide-coated dust and dirt tracked into their homes from the fields. Tom Philpott of MotherJones, nails this topic.

Margaret Reeves's blog
By Margaret Reeves,

After three rapid-fire days with votes on 73 amendments and big budget cuts, the Senate passed what is probably the best Farm Bill we could have hoped for. Huge thanks for all the calls, letters and meetings with elected officials delivered by a large and diverse number of individuals and groups across the country, including the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC).

PAN stands with the other ten members of NSAC’s California Farm Bill Caucus to celebrate this success and gear-up for the House Farm Bill negotiations, coming up just after the 4th of July.